Latin name: Other names: pop-eye Pathogen: Symptoms:
Loss of eyes,
Opacification of the cornea (keratoleukoma, nebula),
Fish with exophthalmia will have eyes that are abnormally enlarged and protrude from their sockets. In severe cases the eyes may actually burst from the socket, leaving the fish eyeless. Entire surface or lens of eye takes on a cloudy, opaque appearance. If Exophthalmia is associated with a systematic infection, then symptoms of this infection can also be observed (for example, abdominal distention, see Dropsy).
Popeye, also known as exophthalmia, is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of another disease caused by pathogens or environmental conditions. However, aquarists will often treat it as a disease. It is caused by the build-up of fluid inside the eye or behind it. There can be any number of causes for this condition: parasitic trematodes, a systematic bacterial infection, a viral infection, a systematic fungal infection, vitamin deficiency, disruption of physiological processes (for example, osmoregulation). Poor water is the main predisposing factor for this condition. In many cases, exophthalmia can be treated by simply improving water quality and so there is no need to use chemicals. Inappropriate chemical composition of water can affect osmoregulation and other biochemical processes.
How to cure:
Establish the underlying cause. Prompt actions are to be taken at the first signs of pop-eye so as to prevent eye loss. If there are no signs of pathogenic or bacterial disease, the condition is very likely to be caused by environmental factors, for example, chemical composition or quality of water. Even if these parameters appear to be normal for a particular species, perform water change every 2 or 3 days as this often helps to cure the fish. It may take a week for the symptoms to disappear completely. However, if the condition is caused by water quality, then opacification of the cornea which is symptomatic of Exophthalmia will disappear much earlier indicating that treatment was successful.